by Judy Cobb
The prostate gland is the source of troubles for many men. The prostate gland is a secondary sex gland found only in males. This small dough-nut shaped gland encircles the urethra at the base of the bladder. The urethra is the tube that drains urine from the bladder. The function of the prostate is to provide the alkaline fluid that makes up a part of the semen.
Some of the more common health problems relating to the prostate include: prostatitis, benign hypertrophy of the prostate, and cancer. Common symptoms of these problems include difficulty urinating, burning or pain during urination, and reduced urine flow. The flow of urine reduces as the prostate swells and puts pressure on the urethra.
Acute prostatitis is fairly common in men of all ages. It is the inflammation of the prostate gland.
Symptoms of acute prostatitis include problems with the flow of urine, burning urination, pain between the scrotum and rectum, fever, and blood or pus in the urine. Usually this condition starts with a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body that migrates to the prostate. When the infection settles into the prostate and the prostate begins to swell and put pressure on the urethra, the flow of urine is slowed and can often back up. This causes the bladder to distend, become tender, and provides an excellent breeding place for further bacterial infections. Left long enough the infection can spread to the kidneys and do damage.
In chronic prostatitis the symptoms can evolve to include: low back ache, frequent burning urination, and impotence. Benign hypertrophy of the prostate occurs when the prostate becomes enlarged over a long period of time. Approximately one third of all men over fifty years of age experience benign hypertrophy. The symptoms are the same as acute prostatitis. The results can be the same as well. While benign hypertrophy is non-cancerous, kidney damage can result from the
Cancer of the prostate is the third most common cancer in men. Cancer seems to be more prevalent in men who have a history of sexually transmitted diseases and prostatitis. Early symptoms of cancer are the same as for prostatitis. A rectal exam of the prostate will reveal a change in the consistency of the prostate from firm but rubbery to hard and solid.
Zinc is quite possibly the most important nutrient for men who are sexually active. Each time a man ejaculates, zinc is lost. Low zinc levels have been linked to prostatitis.
Other specific nutrients include Vitamin A, B Complex, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C (up to 5 grams per day), Vitamin E (600 IU’s per day) magnesium, unsaturated fatty acids (2 tablespoons per day—Super Oil works well), and water.
Here are three formulas which work very well on prostate problems.
PS II contains horsetail herb, black cohosh root, uva ursi leaves, licorice root, kelp plant, gotu kola herb, capsicum fruit, golden seal root, and ginger root.
P-X (which is one of Dr. Christopher’s formulas) has cedar berries, golden seal root, capsicum fruit, parsley herb, ginger root, Siberian ginseng root, uva ursi leaves, queen of the meadow root, and marshmallow root.
Saw Palmetto Concentrate - 435 mg/day for best results
Equolibrium (to be taken for at least 3 months for best results)
* Contains equol, the only known molecule clinically shown to bind to DHT to protect the prostate
* Supports healthy prostate function and urinary flow without side effects Helps improve sleep duration
* Supports healthy prostate cell replication
It Works As Follows
Equolibrium brings balance to your urinary routine by supporting healthy prostate function and cell replication.
Exclusive to Nature’s Sunshine, Equolibrium harnesses the power of equol. A powerful antioxidant, equol supports the prostate through a multi-faceted approach. First, equol binds directly to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to prevent it from binding to receptor sites in the prostate. Equol’s unique DHT binding ability makes it the only known molecule that protects the prostate without triggering the side effects that can be caused by enzyme-blocking products.
Hydrangea can be added to either of these as it has a beneficial effect on genitourinary tract problems. As you research the individual herbs of each of these formulas you will find that each has a specific action on the genitourinary tract, the immune system, or the glandular system.
It is important to increase the fluid intake as this will encourage the flow of urine. (My rule of thumb on fluid intake is 1/2 oz. for each pound of body weight.) Exercise is always an important part of good health. Avoid activities such as cycling and horseback riding. Walking is probably one of the best exercises.
As a final note, it is wise to avoid sexual intercourse/ejaculation when the prostate is infected, as these activities have been shown to slow healing.*
Prostate problems need not have a stigma attached. There are many herbal/holistic remedies for these very common conditions, and the results are usually very good.
Concise Medical Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Great Britain, 1989.
Balch, James F. and Balch, Phyllis A., Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Publishing Group, Garden City, New York, 1990.
Dunne, Lavon J., Nutrition Almanac (Third Edition). McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, New York, 1990.
Kapit, Wynn, and Elson, Lawrence M., The Anatomy Coloring Book, Harper & Row, New York, N.Y., 1977.
*Editor’s Note: This caution does not apply to benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). Sexual intercourse does not aggrevate this condition.
Menopause for Men?
Did you know that a man can go through the “change of life” too? This fact is being studied more since it came to light by careful observation of various symptoms coming in cycles in men’s behavior. Yes, hormones do affect the emotions of men as well as women. The phases of the moon may also affect the male, as has been observed in the female hormone cycle. Granted, some of these concepts are controversial, but the sensitive observer need only keep notes on himself and his spouse and see rather regular cycles of some feelings come wax and wane.
Although men do not menstruate, their sexual energies build up and sometimes the herbs normally used for female hormone imbalances can help the male as well.
Combination PS II is a good example.
As the male responds to hormone shifting during the month, certain herbs can help stabilize his system, especially as aging or stress takes its toll. Some of the herbs useful in this case include black cohosh to help relax the nervous system and balance hormones, saw palmetto concentrate as a nutrient to help block prostate enlargement and cancer, damiana as a tonic and antidepressant, and St. John’s Wort and oats for nerve tonics against stress.
Herbs used to generally rejuvenate the whole male reproductive system include all of the above and including red raspberry leaves, yarrow, licorice root, and sarsaparilla.
All of the “adaptogenic” herbs (like Astragalus, Suma, Wild American and Siberian Ginsengs) help all the glands “adapt” to any stress known to man, including radiation.
Because men sit so much in many occupations, circulating to the scrotum may be impeded, weakening the tissues needing nutrients and a generous oxygen supply.
Whereas our ancestors used to do a lot of walking, dancing, lifting, chopping, moving much more freely than we do today, we have convenienced ourselves into a state of pushing buttons instead of lawnmowers. No wonder our robots don’t have prostate problems—they do all the work!
In order to retain good circulation to the reproductive tract, exercise makes sure that the blood delivers all those supplements you are taking. For those who sit a lot, getting up and walking or otherwise moving around can do more good than it sounds like—and it will increase your alertness and feeling of well-being. Do we need to say any more? We know when we are neglecting ourselves! Listen to Mother Nature calling for action—that is what life is all about!